Charlie Chaplin is best known today as a comedian who starred in silent films from 1920 through 1950, recognizable even today by his iconic moustache and hat. While many people can still identify him as a silent film star, few people know just how insightful and intelligent he was.
The scene from The Great Dictator in which Charlie speaks of our connectedness as human beings, our inherent rights on the planet, and how we have lost our way because of greed, is perhaps our greatest indication of the mind behind the man. Even though he passed away almost 50 years ago, his legacy lives on and he continues to inspire us daily with amazing insight, wisdom, and humour. The following poem offers his unique and perceptive understanding of self-love.
Incredible Poem Written By Charlie Chaplin
As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY”.
As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody if I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me. Today I call it “RESPECT”.
As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it “MATURITY”.
As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm. Today I call it “SELF-CONFIDENCE”.
As I began to love myself I quit stealing my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm. Today I call it “SIMPLICITY”.
As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF”.
As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is “MODESTY”.
As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worrying about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where everything is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it “FULFILLMENT”.
As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But as I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART”.
We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing new worlds are born. Today I know “THAT IS LIFE”!
What an amazing piece on self-love! You can certainly see that Charlie was a wise man who learned a lot during his time here. This poem powerfully reminds us that there is a lesson to be found in all of life’s experiences. Although we may not be able to see it at the time, in retrospect we may discover how these lessons life has offered served us in some way. Each line of the poem shares a lesson which we can keep in mind when we have that feeling that we are not good enough or not where we want to be.
Is self-love something you struggle with? I believe learning to accept yourself as you are, while also recognizing where you would like to improve, is a lifelong journey.